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Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock: Now With Windforce 5X

Operation In A Closed Case

We use a mid-sized Chieftec LF-01B chassis for our closed-case temperature benchmarks. We wanted a smaller enclosure, which should amplify potential heat problems caused by Gigabyte's card. We benchmarked with and without the case fan, but always left the CPU fan running.

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock
ProcessorCore i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, Overclocked to 4.5 GHz
CoolerDeepcool Gammax 400
Memory2 x 4 GB Kingston Value DDR3-1333
Mother BoardGigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3
CaseChieftec LF-01B
Power SupplyChieftec Nitro 2 550 Watt
Front Case Fan800 RPM (Low-Voltage)
Top Case FanNot Active
Back Case Fan800 RPM (Low-Voltage)
Optional Side Case Fan1. Measured without Fan2. Measured with Fan
Operating System and DriverWindows 7 Ultimate x64Catalyst 12.6 WHQL
Test SoftwareFurMark, OCCT

First, we benchmarked without case's side fan in place. We didn’t see any impact on CPU temperature, though temperatures inside the chassis increased very slowly. Within the first 30 minutes, the side of the case (with its two small 120 mm openings) got quite warm.

We applied 7 V to a small, quiet case fan, and that was enough to keep the side of the chassis cooler (it sat at 35 degrees Celsius after 30 minutes). The interior case temperature increased by six degrees Celsius from our 22 degrees Celsius room temperature to 28 degrees.

Not only is this acceptable, but it's comparable to coolers employing direct heat exhaust. The only caveat is that, of course, you need a chassis with ventilation on the side. Something like Enermax's Fulmo GT, with its huge side opening, would be ideal, even without a side fan.

Once again, the video shows Gigabyte's Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock under the full load of FurMark. The noise level is a little lower in the closed case, side opening or not.

The case doesn’t manage to reduce the noise level by much, but at least it changes its tone a bit to sound deeper. The cooling implementation works really well at these noise levels, making overclocking a breeze.